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This article was published on August 20, 2021

Italian dude gets a QR code tattoo to prove he’s covid-free

From the Roman Empire to the Renaissance, Italy continues to lead cultural trends

Italian dude gets a QR code tattoo to prove he’s covid-free

Smartphones always seem to run out of juice at the worst time. Luckily though, there’s an easy fix: use an age-old body modification scarring ritual to sear a permanent information conduit into your soft skin.

Or at least that’s what one young Italian dude seems to believe. Earlier this week, tattoo artist Gabriele Pellerone tattooed a QR code of the client’s official EU covid certificate on their upper arm, Il Reggino reports.

Unfortunately, the original story doesn’t share the name of the brave pioneer who got the tattoo — which is why I’ve affectionately named him ‘Italian dude’ — but you can see his genius idea actually works in Pellerone’s video (if you’re on desktop is probably better to view it here).

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I also tried it on my phone and can confirm it does work. However, the tattoo isn’t the actual QR code for the EU-wide covid certificate — AKA ‘green pass’ — which shows your vaccination status or negative test results.

Instead, it appears to be merely a QR code linking to the official one, which is way bigger and harder to render as a tattoo. But hey, that’s just nitpicking.

Credit: Gabriele Pellerone Tattoo
“Hey baby, wanna scan me?”

As far as tattoos go though… it’s not that bad?

Sure, Mr. Italian dude’s fresh new ink could become outdated — my official covid app might’ve actually generated a new QR code for me just the other day — but so what. A lot of tattoos get outdated anyway, so why not be a maverick and start something new?

Just imagine. Rather than going for the gazillionth feather turning into birds or another random ‘profound’ quote, people could start slapping permanent QR codes on their bodies, linking to their favorite YouTube videos or websites.

Who knows, maybe QR codes can even replace Chinese characters as the quintessential tattoo that you don’t understand — linking to the Wikipedia page on discus throw instead of your beloved Neopets.

Long story short, ‘Italian dude’ is creating a brave new world of interactive tattoos, and I want to live in it. Which is why I’m getting this inked across my back:

My rad new tattoo

h/t Dave Keating

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